News & Information

At Surrey Gynaecology we make every effort to keep abreast of the latest developments in medical science and technology as well as being up-to-date with general news around gynacological matters, hormones and the menopause. Here are some items of interest:

What Makes us Fat? (And how do we lose weight)?

The traditional theory of weight gain is simply this:

What we eat gets burnt up in energy expenditure or else is deposited as fat. Hence the obsession with “gym membership, boot-camps and personal trainers”!

However it is increasingly recognised that high insulin in the blood is the primary driving factor in weight gain (ie fat deposition). In animal research it has been known for decades that an animal which has had its pancreas removed cannot be fattened even if force fed. Likewise in humans if the pancreas has failed and insulin is not being adequately produced (as in a newly diagnosed untreated Type 1 diabetic) weight loss is a very typical symptom despite adequate food intake.

It therefore comes as no surprise that those foods which have the greatest “insulin elevating effect” ie carbohydrates are the single greatest dietary cause of obesity.

Carbohydrates are one of 3 main food classes the other two being Protein and Fat. It is therefore a fallacy that all three have the same “fattening effect” EVEN if you eat identical Calorie-portions of each one.

The obsession with Calorie Intake is ill-founded and more attention needs to be paid to Food Type consumed, principally carbohydrates. This includes sugar (glucose, fructose) as well as bread potatoes, rice and pasta, cakes, biscuits, sugary soft drinks AND sadly alcohol! People somehow feel that “alcohol doesn’t count”!

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome PCOS is arguably the best example (in gynaecology) of high insulin causing increase in weight. At the core of PCOS is Insulin Resistance in which the circulating blood insulin is not as effective (on cell receptors) as it is in non-PCOS women. Thus a higher level of insulin is needed to bring down the blood glucose to normal. This high circulating insulin causes the ovaries to become dysfunctional. It should come as no surprise therefore that Metformin is widely used to treat PCOS. When combined with carbohydrate restricted diet metformin is very effective in bringing about weight loss and resumption of ovulation and regularity of periods.

The link below links to some guides on how to follow a low carbohydrate diet. Give it a try; you might be pleasantly surprised! Good Luck!

» The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living